The BJP-led NDA’s candidate Ram Nath Kovind has won the presidential election and is set to take the oath as India’s 14th President on 25th July 2017. The 71-year old defeated rival candidate Meira Kumar by a huge margin. After garnering 65.65% of votes from the electoral college, he would be the first person from BJP to become the Indian President. Want to know more about our new president? Here are 11 things you need to know:
1. Ram Nath Kovind was born on 1st October 1945 in Uttar Pradesh
He was the son of a Farmer and according to what he has said after the news of his victory, he once used to live in a mud-hut, the roof of which leaked during heavy rains. From a mud- hut to the Rashtrapati Bhavan, his journey has been amazing.
2. He has made 3 attempts at the Civil Services Examination
After obtaining graduation in Law, Ram Nath Kovind went straight from Kanpur to Delhi to pursue his dream of becoming an IAS officer. However, when he finally cracked the exams in the 3rd attempt, he was selected for the Allied services post instead of IAS, due to which he quit and continued his practice in the field of Law.
3. He has served as a personal assistant for an Ex- Prime Minister of India
Between the years 1977-1978, Ram Nath Kovind worked as a personal assistant for the then Prime Minister of India, Morarji Desai.
4. Ram Nath Kovind practiced as an Advocate at the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court for 16 years
In the year 1971, he enrolled as an advocate at the Bar Council of Delhi and was a Central Government Advocate from 1977 to 1979. A year later, Ram Nath Kovind became an Advocate-on-record for the Supreme Court Of India. Then from 1980-1993, he served as the Central Government Standing Counsel at the Supreme Court. He has also worked as an advocate for the Free Legal Aid Society in New Delhi and has provided free legal aid to the SC/ST’s, women, poor people and some other weaker sections of the society.
5. His Political stint started in 1991 when he joined BJP
Ram Nath Kovind joined the BJP in 1991. He has always had good relations with the RSS, so much that he donated his ancestral home in Derapur to the right-wing organization. He was also once a National Spokesperson for the BJP.
6. He was the President of the BJP Dalit Morcha & the All India Koli Samaj
As a Dalit himself, he has supported the empowerment of the Scheduled Castes in India. He has served as the President of the BJP’s Scheduled caste wing- The BJP Dalit Morcha and the All India Koli Samaj for a period of four years between 1998- 2002.
7. He has lost two times in Assembly elections
Ram Nath Kovind has contested two times in Assembly elections from the constituencies of Ghatampur and Bhognipur in the State of Uttar Pradesh but unfortunately lost both times.
8. Kovind has been a Rajya Sabha MP for 12 years (1994-2006)
Ram Nath Kovind joined as a Member of Parliament in Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh on April 3, 1994. During his 12 year career as a Parliamentarian, he served on the Parliamentary Committee for Welfare of Scheduled Castes/Tribes, Home Affairs, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Social Justice and Empowerment, Law and Justice. He has also served as a chairman of the Rajya Sabha House Committee. Under the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS), wherein each parliamentarian is given the responsibility of promoting development in the districts of their constituency through a given amount of Rs. 5 Crore, Ram Nath Kovind focused on improving the quality of education in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand by helping in construction of new School buildings.
9. He has represented India at the United Nations(UN)
Ram Nath Kovind has achieved the honor of addressing the United Nations General Assembly in October 2002.
10. He has served on the Boards of IIM Calcutta and Dr. BR Ambedkar University
Kovind has been on the Board of Management panel of the Dr. BR Ambedkar University and has also been on the Board of Governors of IIM, Calcutta.
11. He was the Governor of Bihar before he filed the nomination for Presidential Elections.
On 8th August 2015, Ram Nath Kovind was appointed as the Governor of Bihar by the then president Mr. Pranab Mukherjee. During his time as a governor, he maintained a cordial relation with the ministers of Bihar and his efforts to remove irregularities in the State’s Education System were highly praised. After he accepted the nomination to participate in the presidential elections, he quit his post as the Governor of Bihar and his resignation was accepted by the President on 20th June 2017. A month later, he has won the election and is set to start his tenure as the President Of India from 25th July 2017.